The new nationalism

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The Times covered the Goldstone bar mitzvah controversy on its front page Saturday. See second paragraph; what does reporter Barry Bearak mean by "countrymen"?

"That grandfather is Richard Goldstone, one of this nation’s most eminent jurists and head of a United Nations investigation that said it found evidence of war crimes during Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Many of his countrymen not only took issue with the findings, they called the judge a traitor who had sold out his Jewish brethren."

In fact, many South African countrymen agreed with him. I would guess a fair-sized majority. Or is the journalist referring to a different definition of "countrymen" connected to Jews anywhere in the world and Israel? What’s happening here? Poor word choice by the journalist, right?

And toward the end of the piece, I object to this:

Here in the judge’s home country, many Jews suddenly viewed him as a heretic. He was accused of faulty reasoning. He was accused of being co-opted. He was accused of being the worst kind of anti-Semite, a self-hating Jew.

But does that justify keeping him from the bar mitzvah?

It’s as if the journalist accepts the viewpoint. Barry Bearak should have written, "But does such reasoning justify keeping him from the bar mitzvah?"

45 Responses

  1. potsherd
    April 18, 2010, 9:49 pm

    You have to wonder if the South African Jews actually consider themselves part of the nation of South Africa.

    Our own “Julian” made the same comment here a couple of days ago, that Goldstone was “a pariah” among his own people – by which he meant the SA Jews. We have people who look at an entire nation, almost 50 million people, and see only Jews, who are .3% of the population. The others are only blacks, who don’t count.

  2. UNIX
    April 18, 2010, 10:03 pm

    Ugh, Goldstone makes me SICK.

    What a dirty traitor.

    He should be barred from ALL Jewish events. This guy is really a piece of work.

  3. Avi
    April 18, 2010, 11:39 pm

    what does reporter Barry Bearak mean by “countrymen”?

    In this context “Countrymen” seems to be code in the presence of goy company to mean “a member of the tribe”.

    One thing barry would not want to do is alienate his fellow citizens of South Africa – the non-Jewish ones – lest they call HIM a traitor.

    One wonders if this is yet another case of projection. Where do barry’s loyalties lie?

  4. Keith
    April 19, 2010, 12:13 am

    The Zionist bias of the NYT runs strong and deep!

  5. VR
    April 19, 2010, 1:34 am

    “Here in the judge’s home country, many Jews suddenly viewed him as a heretic.”

    Well, at least we are clear what they worship, and it has nothing to do with traditional Judaism – a religion of the the land. A religion of the land and Holocaust hijackers- who are the heretics?

  6. eljay
    April 19, 2010, 6:51 am

    >> “Many of his countrymen not only took issue with the findings, they called the judge a traitor who had sold out his Jewish brethren.”

    Perhaps there’s a sub-text to that comment, but I take that to mean Jewish South Africans who, correctly, would be his countrymen.

    >> Barry Bearak should have written, “But does such reasoning justify keeping him from the bar mitzvah?”

    Yes, the journalist’s wording does appear to imply that the baseless accusations are accurate.

  7. pabelmont
    April 19, 2010, 7:25 am

    “Here in the judge’s home country, many Jews suddenly viewed him as a heretic. He was accused of faulty reasoning. He was accused of being co-opted. He was accused of being the worst kind of anti-Semite, a self-hating Jew.”

    “But does that justify keeping him from the bar mitzvah?”

    Here the writer shows, first, that he doesn’t see (or doesn’t mind showing others) his bias (“but does that justify”) and also that he regards the ‘charges’ (“he was accused”) as correct.

    Maybe all of this is entirely deliberate, entirely intended — and the old lady is deliberately trying to make nice with her own countrymen, the USA you-know-whos. When the writer tried to write, “Such argument, even had it been true, would not justify * * *” and the editor changed it to be as it is.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    April 19, 2010, 7:54 am

    RE: “Many of his countrymen not only took issue with the findings, they called the judge a traitor…” – Bearak

    Richard J. Goldstone: Integrity Personified
    Category: Common Interest – Beliefs & Causes
    Description: A group for individuals who admire Justice Goldstone and respect his integrity.
    Open: All content is public.
    LINK – link to

  9. hughsansom
    April 19, 2010, 9:31 am

    Most striking is the evident unawareness of the ‘journalist’ that great figures like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, both of whom have repeatedly said that Israel is today an apartheid state.

    I would venture that not one reasonably informed victim of apartheid in South Africa would find fault with Goldstone’s report on Israeli crimes in Gaza.

  10. thankgodimatheist
    April 19, 2010, 9:43 am

    Tony Karon: The Jewish diaspora is losing patience with Israel

    The claim of Israel and its supporters to speak for “the Jews” and therefore to tar Israel’s critics with the brush of anti-Semitism was demonstrably false, she argued. Jews are speaking out against the occupation, even as key Jewish establishment figures publicly demand that the Obama administration end its pressure on Israel for a settlement freeze in Jerusalem.

    Ms Butler might even have had Mr Goldstone in mind when she accused that “those who tell you that it is insensitive to Jewishness to come out in favour of international law and human rights” are holding on to “a monstrous view of what it means to be Jewish.”

    By his willingness to subject Israel’s conduct in Gaza to the same objective moral and legal standards he had used when presiding over South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or the war crimes tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Mr Goldstone upheld the single fundamental tenet of Judaism as defined by the great sage, Rabbi Hillel: “that which is hateful unto yourself, do not do unto others”.

  11. hughsansom
    April 19, 2010, 10:27 am

    I emailed Barry Bearak regarding this and he very politely said that “countrymen” was the wrong word to use. (He didn’t actually clarify what would have been the right word.)

    • David Samel
      April 19, 2010, 12:15 pm

      I’m not surprised at his response and admission of error. The mistake impressed me as one of subtle bias rather than an overt attempt to deceive. In fact, for that reason, it is even more significant. Such questionable sentiments are expressed so often and without self-recognition in publications like the Times that I’m surprised Anon caught it.

  12. eee
    April 19, 2010, 10:58 am

    The majority of Jews worldwide self identify themselves as being from the Jewish nation. I wonder if most Boers or blacks actually think of the South African Jews as countrymen. We do know what the Boers think of the blacks and vice versa. If South Africa slides in to chaos, what is the only place on earth the South African Jews know that they can go to for sure? Israel. What is the only country in the world that will actively make sure that the South African Jews are safe and bring them to safety if necessary? Israel.

    Goldstone is a traitor. There were plenty of people who could do his job. He knew very well that the report will be used to bludgeon Israel unfairly yet he took the job out of sheer vanity.

    • Chaos4700
      April 19, 2010, 11:04 am

      I find it amusing that Israelis basically consider themselves the fuehrers of the Jewish people, and that even attempting to apply the rule of law to Israel is deemed “traitorous” to their race.

      Will there come a time when Israel will demand that American Jews support Israel’s crimes over the interests in the United States? It seems to me that what you’re really demand, eee, is that Jews make themselves traitors to their home countries. And we’ve seen what that entails, as a matter of historical precedent.

      Do you want to be party to that sort of thing, American Jews?

      • eee
        April 19, 2010, 11:18 am

        As was clearly shown by the fact that you knew nothing about the Mt. Olives cemetery, you are a complete ignoramus when it comes to Jewish matters.
        The Jews have had a difficult history as is. We do not need fellow Jews to make things more difficult for us as they have done throughout history. In many inequities against Jews, a Jewish convert to Christianity usually played a role. In this case, Goldstone has put his mistaken beliefs about international law above his loyalty to his fellow Jews that view Israel as the one and only Jewish state.

        Goldstone has admitted that his committee was political and that was the reason there is such a committee for Gaza and not for Tibet, Chechnya or Iraq. Goldstone decided that it was ok to bludgeon Israel because he wanted to influence how asymmetric warfare was fought and thought that this would be the only case where the UN would approve a committee such as his. He is obviously a traitor to his people if he thinks creating international law precedents is more important than Israel’s interests.

      • David Samel
        April 19, 2010, 12:11 pm

        eee, Goldstone took on an important assignment and performed his job with integrity, honesty and thoroughness. What exactly are you complaining about? That he feels that respect for the truth can never be considered anti-Semitic?

        If you think the Goldstone report is flawed, in that it made unfair and inaccurate accusations against Israel, you fell far short of identifying those flaws. If the report speaks the truth, Israel’s behavior was barbaric and indefensible, and it should not enjoy immunity anf impunity from appropriate condemnation.

      • Chu
        April 19, 2010, 12:40 pm

        “In this case, Goldstone has put his mistaken beliefs about international law above his loyalty to his fellow Jews that view Israel as the one and only Jewish state. ”

        – You make it sound as if international law is irrelevant. By that measure, is Jewish loyalty more important to the diaspora than the laws of the country in which they exist?

      • eee
        April 19, 2010, 1:03 pm


        First, it is uncontroversial that the report is flawed. The report clearly states that its evidence it collected is not of the standard acceptable in court and furthermore that all people investigated should be presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

        Of course, that does not stop people from using it to bludgeon Israel. And that is why Goldstone is a traitor. He knew how his flawed report will be used in this way but didn’t care.

      • Cliff
        April 19, 2010, 1:18 pm

        The report is not an indictment you nit-wit.

        It’s a fact-finding mission. It’s the basis for a further investigation.

        You’re a schizo – first you said it meant nothing, then you said it was something to be used for further investigation while dishonestly referring to the ‘fine print’ about presumed innocence.

        The bottom-line is that this behavior, killing civilians wantonly and destroying civilian infrastructure is T Y P I C A L of the IDF and of Israel.

        There is NO REASON to believe Israel wanted to extend the truce w/ Hamas because in doing so it would lend legitimacy to them and hence, lead to a possible solution where Hamas would be seen as an ‘equal’ (or close to) partner.

        Destroying Gaza and resetting the ‘clock’ means, Israel can keep crying terrorism and Islamism while building settlements and such because the Lobby will maintain pressure on US politicians.

        The Goldstone Report is important documentation of Zionist crimes.

        No one has to swear loyalty to a religion. Nor do they have to blindly follow a State.

        Goldstone is a Zionist. He is not a Hamas fan, nor does he support One-State.

        He did his job, and this report is the culmination of that.

        You don’t like the conclusions because it undermines your sunshine and marshmallows, delusion, about Israel.

        You – a coward, who served in a coward-infested army, that guards an entire population of inbred settlers and thieves.

        The report is a catalyst. It’s waking people up to fight for the Palestinians. That’s ACTIVISM.

        These people aren’t Zionists like you. They aren’t advocating we send billions of dollars of weapons to Hamas. They aren’t advocating we strip Israel of it’s weapons and turn it into a demilitarized State.

        They want your pariah, racish State to follow the law and answer for it’s crimes against the Palestinians.

      • eee
        April 19, 2010, 1:30 pm

        The report is just a tool for antisemites like you to bludgeon Israel.
        * Anyone that says that the IDF is “coward-infested army, that guards an entire population of inbred settlers and thieves” is clearly an antsemite. Two+ antisemitic slurs in one statement. Not bad.

        The Goldstone report clearly states that all parties investigated should be presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Why do you choose to ignore this? Why are you jumping to conclusions and attacking Israel? Irrational Israel hatred anyone?

        Goldstone is a traitor as I explained and you prove. He knew that people like you would crawl out of their holes and use his report to unfairly attack Israel. Yet, he still went forward with it.

      • potsherd
        April 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

        eee has a new word! I guess his BASH record wore out.

        Let’s try some more new words for the IDF – fascist thugs, child murderers, brutes.

      • Cliff
        April 19, 2010, 1:43 pm


        The report is a tool for activists to inspire people to mobilize against Zionist apartheid.

        The report is bashed by Zionist freaks like you who call for ‘balance’ and ‘fairness’ when you comprise one of the strongest armies on the planet.

        The thing you’re fighting is accountability.

        I already told you why I think your shitty little country is ‘guilty’ – that goddamn Occupation is 40+ years long.

        You can’t ignore the Palestinians. They have been there longer than you. You took the land from them. There is no Jewish State w/ all those Arabs – so you got rid of them.

        The Goldstone report undermines all the bullshit about land-without-a-people and other Zionist fairy-tales.

        It presents a stark picture of the conflict, in the context that anyone who is paying attention sans an ‘ethno-religious’ interest can pick up on.

        I have never met a Jew in person (I think). I went to a school that prided itself on multiculturalism and all that – it’s one of the best private schools in the country (still is). In college I still didn’t notice any Jewish people. I’m now a med student. My entire life, educational and personal, I’ve never had contact up close w/ a Zionist. It’s only on these blogs that I see what a bunch of lunatics and cowards you are.

        Do you think any non-Zionist is going to give a damn about your 3000 year old song-and-dance about ‘returning’? Do you think we make decisions the same as you?

        That we think it’s alright to ethnically cleanse?

        Do you think we give ‘Jews’ more political capital than non-Jews?

        You’re an antisemitic clown. You conflate Zionism w/ all Jews, all the time, whenever you can, because you’re such a fucking coward you cannot own up to your OWN ACTIONS.

        You have to throw Jewishness in front of you to take the hit.

        Then you call all your opponents Jew-haters because you have NO ARGUMENT.

        You recite the fine print about presumed innocence and dismiss the entire report on that basis.

        You ignore the context of Zionist crimes and the long history of similar situations and incidents.

        That’s the context – that’s why I am sure Israel carried out the crimes reported on by Goldstone.

        I am not a Jew-hater. I don’t GIVE A DAMN about you or your religion or your history. I am indifferent. I care about the present. I care about PRINCIPLES devoid of IDENTITY.

        You do not have the right to steal, murder, oppress anyone. I don’t give a shit about your excuses. FREE PALESTINE!

      • eee
        April 19, 2010, 2:05 pm

        A med school without Jews or Zionists in Australia?
        Are you sure that what you think of as “med school” is not in fact a closed ward?

        Your whole view of the conflict is utterly simplistic and biased.

        For a person that preaches about principles you are very quick to discard them, especially the one Goldstone stresses: presumption of innocence. It is not in the fine print. It is part and parcel of the report. Goldstone clearly explains that until proven guilty in a court of law, all people investigated should be assumed innocent since the evidence he collected was not of the standard applicable in a court of law.

      • eee
        April 19, 2010, 2:07 pm

        “Let’s try some more new words for the IDF – fascist thugs, child murderers, brutes.”

        Why not, let’s generalize about the IDF. Another racist slur.

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2010, 2:18 pm

        another racist slur.”

        Hold on “eee”, you sort of lost me. Are we Jews a “race”, or a “nation” or a “people” or all three?
        And if we are a race, are we white? I can stand a lot, “eee” but there are some insults which go beyond the pale!

      • Chaos4700
        April 19, 2010, 2:40 pm

        It’s worse than that, Mooser — eee’s implying that the IDF itself is a race. The oft-sought ubermenschen, he thinks they are, one has to wonder…?

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2010, 3:16 pm

        “Goldstone is a traitor as I explained and you prove. He knew that people like you would crawl out of their holes and use his report to unfairly attack Israel. Yet, he still went forward with it.”

        And people, Jew haters and anti-Semites all, say that Israeli ethical education is not advanced! You’ll show them, “eee”!

      • Citizen
        April 19, 2010, 4:06 pm

        The only way to apply the standard applicable in a court of law is
        for the Goldstone Report to be submitted to decide if an indictment should be made; if made, the Israeli defendants enter the court room with a full presumption of innocence; if during the court hearing, the decision is made that said presumption no longer applies due to furthr elicited in court; the court process is then involved with deciding
        whether, after hearing all evidence, the defendants are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or not.

      • Citizen
        April 19, 2010, 4:10 pm

        change “no longer applies due to furthr elicited in court” to:
        no longer applies due to further evidence elicited in court

      • David Samel
        April 19, 2010, 4:21 pm

        eee, your claim that it is uncontroversial that the report is flawed is silly. This is the report of a fact-finding mission, and Goldstone’s caveats that those accused should have the opportunity to defend themselves attests to his fairness and respect for due process of law. These are not flaws.

        Leaving aside the nastiness of the exchanges between you and other commenters here, you have failed to identify any specific issue you have taken with the report. You use general smears because you do not like its conclusions. Essentially, the outrage is over the report’s conclusions that Israel intentionally targeted civilians. Israel has a very long record of doing so in innumerable instances since before its founding. Sometimes they deny it with lame excuses and sometimes they candidly admit it. The evidence of attacks on civilians in Gaza is overwhelming. Whether you are or are not a former IDF soldier, do you really contend that Israel did not deliberately inflict lethal violence on civilians?

        Note also that some of Israel’s staunchest defenders, such as Dershowitz, are anxious to rewrite the rules of law to excuse attacks on civilians. Why would this be necessary if Israel has been abiding by the law all this time?

    • Mooser
      April 19, 2010, 2:31 pm

      “What is the only country in the world that will actively make sure that the South African Jews are safe and bring them to safety if necessary? Israel”

      If you are trying to say that Israel and South Africa don’t have an extradition treaty, just say so, without all the mish-mosh.

    • Donald
      April 19, 2010, 3:40 pm

      From what Tony Karon says in the post below, the mainstream South African Jewish community felt comfortable identifying with the apartheid regime (though as he also mentions, South African Jews were prominent activists against apartheid.) I don’t know if the racists among the Boers feel any sense of gratitude for this (or for Israel’s support).


  13. eee
    April 19, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Second, why do you claim to know the truth when the report does not claim to know the truth?

    We keep hearing the same BS from people like you. For example after the 2006 Lebanon war. Well, it has been four years, any convictions or even indictments? If the Israeli “war crimes” were so evident, why no legal action, even in Lebanon itself? In short, just another way to bludgeon Israel.

    • Mooser
      April 19, 2010, 2:25 pm

      Oh, stop complaining “eee” (and don’t try and tell me that’s a Jewish name, you faker!). Look, the whole world is full of anti-Semites, we know that, right? So who the hell are you kvetching to when you call us “Jew-haters” and “anti-Semites”? I mean, are you trying to increase our popularity.

      But please, “eee” don’t think I don’t have a lot of sympathy for us. It’s horrible to live in a entire world which is anti-Semitic, except for about 450 American Congressman. I don’t know how we survive.

      BTW, did you see my roast pork loin recipe in the other thread? Mmmm! I mean, you being an “atheist Jew” and all, you got no problem with pig, right? Give it a try. The atheist kosher butchers usually have the best price on whole loins.

      • Mooser
        April 19, 2010, 2:28 pm

        Oh, BTW, that word, “bludgeon”, I’m not sure I know what it means. Is it a Modren Hebrew word meaning “factually unfavorable to Israel”?
        Anyway, rather than guess wrong, I’ll let you give us a definition.

      • Citizen
        April 19, 2010, 4:43 pm

        Anti-semites all around, hiding in plain view, what to do, what to do?
        Maybe eee should ask a few of the 72% of jews who are currently fully engaged in that “silent holocaust,” currently marrying gentiles?

        God forbid a jewish person actually think of his or her self as a developed individual human.

  14. MHughes976
    April 19, 2010, 2:33 pm

    The accusations listed by Bearak mention heresy, false reasoning, ‘being co-opted’ and self-hatred.
    As far as this goes, the accusation of heresy or false religious belief rather discredits the accusers – why should true religious belief be required for the purpose of legal investigation? On the other hand it might be logical reason for exclusion from a religious ceremony, where true belief might be required.
    Logical, perhaps, but creditable? It does seem reasonable to suspect that Goldstone, if he thinks himself an authentic adherent of traditional Jewish religion and culture, must think in his heart, whether he’s looked into his heart or not, that contemporary Zionism has gone wrong and ceased to be authentic. But does one show one’s authenticity or one’s inner goodness by pressing someone’s family to reject him in very painful circumstances?
    There’s some irony about accusing someone of ‘being coopted’ when what is actually happening to him is the reverse, being excluded. And of self-dislike when what is actually on view is the execration of others.

  15. Mooser
    April 19, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I was gonna rail on “eee” (are you sure it’s not “eeestein” or “eeewitz” or something?) for what most consider a shameful thing, using religion or religious affiliation to excuse crime, but I forgot; “eee” is an atheist, so the Jewish religion is simply, for him, a ploy to be freely minipulated in his favor. So there’s our brave new Zionist atheist Jew.
    I don’t think Americans will find him a very attractive character. At any rate, I’m sure he will do an excellent job of disabusing them of their sentimentalist Zionist notions.

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